Hours Against Hate

I think the chaos and fun of the summer months took us away from the blogging spirit, but as I came into the East Hartford YMCA on this dreary Thursday morning, I saw something absolutely blog-worthy.

Our Youth & Family Director, Alyssa McGhee, is engaging her teen center participants (and eventually reaching out to our school age child care programs) to have the children pledge 1 hour of their time to make a difference and end bullying.

The picture below is a snapshot of some of the things our EH kids are going to do to end hate at school, in their community, and at the Y.

Great job, Ms. A!

Teen Center


Jenn Odorczyk
Child Care Director
East Hartford YMCA

Rolling out the Red Carpet

Rolling out the red carpet….

A few words that make me think of Joanne Vullo…

Courage, strength, love, friendship, family, hope, determination, spirit, humor, beauty, devotion, powerful, kindness, wisdom, healthy…..We welcome Joanne back home to the East Hartford Y.

On behalf of the all the staff, volunteers, and members at the East Hartford Y, we want you to know how much we love you and that we never stopped thinking of the day you would come back.  It has been over 7 months since you shared the news with us that you had cancer, and with dignity and grace you have risen above it…you are an inspiration to all of us and we are so happy to have you back where you belong.

Today we rolled the red carpet out for you to welcome you back into our hearts and lives like the rockstar that you are!

Home sweet home at the East Hartford Y…

Mike Kerrigan
Senior Program Director
East Hartford YMCA




Healthy Kids Day 2013

The East Hartford YMCA had a fantastic turnout for Healthy Kids Day on April 27th. Over 270 people attended the event which included two bounce houses, carnival games, program promotion, community vendors and collaborators, a child care art show, 2-on-2 basketball and a family fun walk! Many thanks to my amazing preschool Directors and child care staff for all of their hard work to make this day a complete success. We are truly living our cause!

Check out our photos on Flickr (click the link below) to see the great time had by staff, families and the community!

Healthy Kids Day 2013 – EHY

Jenn Odorczyk
Child Care Director
East Hartford YMCA


Teen’s <3 the YMCA

Our Teen Center participants have been decorating our walls lately and some of their art works speaks volumes:

“Keep Calm & Love the YMCA”

“We love the YMCA”



We love the YMCA too, friends!

Jenn Odorczyk
Child Care Director
East Hartford YMCA


Chinese New Year @ Mayberry YMCA School Age

Chinese New Years at Mayberry YMCA


Mayberry YMCA had their, delayed due to snow storm, Chinese New Years on February 21.

We  prepared weeks before, with the students making dragons, drums and “cooli” hats.

The students wrote their own Chinese symbols, for man, women, fire, love, and peace,  on the hats

We had a banquet of orange chicken with white rice, Lo Mien Noodles, chicken fingers and spare ribs, which they ate with chop sticks!  Everyone did VERY well adapting.

The students also had Chinese tea.

While we  ate the students learned Chinese greetings such as “Nee HaHOW= Hello, and ”Zai jian”= goodbye.

They used this to greet and say goodbye to the teachers who left and entered the school.

We also talked about the history of China, the Great Wall and the history of the “cooli” hat and how the peasants worked picking rice.

After dinner, the children danced to Chinese  music  with their dragons and drums.

This was a great history and language lesson.


Cindy Woodman

Head Teacher








Pay it Forward

Yesterday at the YMCA Child Care Center, we received an anonymous letter with a Toys R Us gift card and note inside. I cannot do the note justice – it touched all of our hearts in a tremendous way and is truly in the spirit of our Pay it Forward Strong Kids Campaign theme this year. We will certainly be paying it forward..

Jenn Odorczyk
Child Care Director
East Hartford YMCA


Barack Obama, baby!

Recently, the children at the East Hartford YMCA Larson Center wrote letters and drew pictures to be sent to our President Barack Obama. They were doing a whole unit of the president and even got to vote for a Larson president (Barack won!).

We received the following letter back from the President along with his official seal and presidental pictures. The children, teachers and Director were SO excited to get such a response and it helped to reinforce the lesson and academics of the unit they were concentrating on.

Jenn Odorczyk
Child Care Director
East Hartford YMCA


Barack Obama